This music was made by translating genetic instructions that were missing in the child Sophia's DNA into music. Please read more of Sophia's story and how the music was created. Sophia Herog Sachs died on July 25, 2005. In spite of incredible life challenges, Sophia brought an abundance of joy and wisdom to so many who entered her 'garden'. Sophia suffered from a severe neurologic disease, called Niemann-Pick Type-A, for which there is no known cure, and which usually leads to death by 2 to 3 years of age. Thanks to the loving care of family, friends and community, Sophia lived a rich and amazing life for over 4 years. Niemann-Pick disease is characterized by the inability of a specific gene to express correctly and synthesize an essential metabolic enzyme called Acid Sphingomyelinase (ASM). Music for 'Sophia's Garden' was created by translating the genetic instructions from the gene that codes for the synthesis of ASM into information that can be used by various synthesizers and other types of musical instruments. In this way the genetic sequences have become the themes and motifs for the music. For the final selection of the CD, I recorded the sounds of Sophia's voice so that she could 'sing along' with the music. All of the musical sounds and the sound effects on this selection were derived from the recorded sounds of Sophia's voice. These sounds were then correlated to the genetic instructions via the same method as in the other pieces on the CD. Intentions My intention was to create music that would lend some nurturing element to Sophia's daily experience. I have tried to capture what I think are the most delightful aspects of Sophia's essence and to reflect them musically. As a composer, this has allowed me to extract myself from the process and focus very clearly on musical expression. To some extent, I am cognizant of the genomic aspect of the music and am trying to reflect my impression of what gene expression might sound like musically. But more predominant has been a sense of what I perceive to be Sophia's essence. I have also had the opportunity to observe wonderful outpourings of loving care by so many whose lives have been touched by Sophia. This gives me a sense of Sophia's Garden as a kind of virtual space where one can be inspired to function in a truly selfless manner. Music for Sophia's Garden is dedicated to Sophia Herzog-Sachs.
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